Then, after she gained entry to the home of elderly neighbors, Derrick Epps broke through the door and continued to stab her.
“He must have killed her,” the neighbor, 84-year-old Alice Doughty, told a judge during a criminal hearing in Northampton court. “All that blood was on the floor.”
Later, while in custody, Epps made an escape attempt while using the restroom and apparent ran out of the sheriff’s office before being apprehended.
General District Court Judge Gordon Vincent certified the murder charge against Epps, 36, of Exmore, to a grand jury.Witnesses presented by Commonwealth’s Attorney Bruce Jones told a horrifying story to a courtroom packed with the victim’s friends and family. Many wept quietly as they heard the story of her final moments on July 9.
The slaying of Bailey, 57, who had recently been named the 2010 Eastern Shore Citizen of the Year at a gala event, shocked the community.
On the day of her death, Bailey drove home from work in the middle of the day. Epps, her neighbor, saw her pull into her driveway and ran into his kitchen to get a long knife.
“He told her he wanted money,” testified Northampton County Sheriff’s Office investigator Terry Thomas, who said Epps told him the entire story of the slaying when he was arrested. Thomas said Epps told him he stabbed her “a few times.”
He told Thomas that Bailey fell to the ground and then got up and ran across the street. Thomas said Epps told him that Bailey was screaming for help when she got to the neighbor’s front door. He said he was continually stabbing her as she banged on the door.
Epps admitted he went back a few minutes later and broke through the Doughtys’ door, “because a voice told him she was not dead,” Thomas said.
The testimony of the neighbor, Joseph Doughty, 86, told more of the story.
“I heard a hard rap on the door. I jumped up. I opened the door, ” he said.
“She fell on the floor,” he said. “She asked me to call 911. She was trying to fight him off. He had this big, long knife.”
When Bailey fell, the defendant backed away, Doughty said. He testified that he quickly locked the storm door and the wooden door and ran to the telephone to call for help.
As he was talking to 911, Doughty said the defendant burst through the doors breaking the door frame and the wooden door.
“He came in the house and cut her again.”
His wife, Alice Doughty, appeared frail as she was helped to the witness stand by deputies.
Jones asked her if she knew Epps. She pointed to the defendant and said, “He lived next door.”
She recalled the scene with obvious pain, telling the same story as her husband.
“She came running in the door and he was right behind her,” she said, looking at Epps.
“When she fell, I was talking to her. He came into the house, cut her again,” she said.
In addition to the first degree murder charge, Epps is charged with entering a dwelling with a deadly weapon with the intent to commit murder and assault and battery of a police officer.
Northampton Sheriff’s Office Deputy William Smith transported Epps to the sheriff’s office after he was picked up walking on Broadwater Road.
He was being held in the conference room there when he insisted he had an urgent need to use the bathroom. Smith was instructed to take him.
Smith released one of the man’s handcuffs while in the bathroom. At that moment, he said, Epps shoved him into a wall and ran out the door.
Epps ran out the door of the building with Smith fifteen or twenty feet behind him. Smith said he deployed his Taser and Epps went down. He was again taken into custody.
“He made no bones about what he did,” investigator Thomas told the court, referring to Epps’ description of the day’s events. “He said it was not a robbery, that her people owed his people.”